For the first time since its launch in 2016, the Internet Mobile and Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) held the very first Digital Congress outside the country’s capital. Dubbed DigiCon South XE 2019, it aims to give local digital practitioners the chance to hear from the most influential leaders how they innovate, apply and even create the latest marketing trends.
Being on the trend and digital forefront as always, RipeConcepts snagged five seats to the event. The two-day affair (although usually three in Manila) seeks to aid marketers in adapting to the undeniably fast-paced era of digitalization. DigiCon is leaking at its seams with insights from marketing leaders on how they successfully made their consumers experience extraordinary things with their brand.
DigiCon South XE had the theme “The Experience Economy”. It focuses on how different brands outcompete each other not through hard selling, but by creating an experience that their consumers relate and are attach to. Its three sub-themes: Brand Experience (BX), User Experience (UX), and Customer Experience (CX) drove the entire program.
Powerhouse Lineup of Speakers
Year after year, DigiCon rounds up the most influential leaders from the biggest brands to share their marketing stories. They also touch on the emerging digital marketing trends and how we can apply them to future and ongoing projects. Just check out the big names who spoke at the event:
- Angeline Tham, CEO, Angkas
- Samuel Jeanblanc, Market Lead – Philippines, Google
- Gino Pineda, Client Partner – Philippines, Facebook
- Carlo Ople, VP – Digital Strategy and Consumer Disruptive Business, PLDT
- Michael Patent, Founder, Culture Group
- Jojo Guingao, Chief Digital Officer, Aboitiz Equity Ventures
- Margot Torres, Managing Director – Philippines, McDonald’s
- Phil Smithson, Managing Director and Lead Designer, On-Off Group
- Carla Yap Sy Su, Chief Revenue Officer, Rappler Philippines
- Leigh Reyes, President and Chief Creative Officer – Philippines, MullenLowe
- Lana Macapagal, Business Development Manager, Viber
- Donald Lim, Country CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network
- Dennis Perez, Media Director – Philippines, Unilever
- Edna Belleza, Group Publisher – Digital and Print, Summit Media
- Jara Amin, Account Manager – Philippine Growth Businesses, Facebook
- Arianne Kader-Cu, Country Head, Viu
- Paulo Campos, CEO and Founder – Philippines, Zalora
- Karl Malk, Co-Founder and CEO, Hepmil Media Group
- Dominic Ligot, CTO and Co-Founder, Activdata
- Michelle Cruz, Market Lead – Philippines, Klook
- Paul Rivera, CEO and Founder, Kalibrr
- Mark Meily, Director – Strategic Innovations, Kind Mind Experience Design
- Patrick Gentry, CEO and Co-Founder, Sprout Solutions
- Des Deocareza, Director, Kantar
- Roland Ros, Founder, Kumu Inc.
- Karen Alba – Alday, AVP – Digital Marketing Head, Nestlé Philippines
Words for Modern Marketers
There was no shortage of great speakers in the event but there were definitely a handful of quotes that provoked the data-based creatives in us:
1. “Experiences create more value than actual goods or services.” – Jojo Guingao, Chief Digital Officer, Aboitiz Equity Ventures
Guingao’s sentiment further proves that consumer experience in itself has become the main commodity, rather than what a company has to tangibly offer. When a brand creates a unique setting where people can form an emotional attachment, it has a higher probability of gaining their trust and, ultimately, their loyalty. This shift may not happen rapidly, but building a long-term relationship makes consumers feel that they have grown with the brand too.
2.“Be there. Be fast. Be at the top.” – Samuel Jeanblanc, Market Lead – Philippines, Google
Jeanblanc sure had more than an idea or two to share about how businesses can benefit when they appear on the widely-used search engine. He shared that consumers nowadays are curious, demanding, and impatient – characteristics that Google may somehow have influenced and enabled. To satisfy consumer curiosity and supply their demand to possess a product immediately, being on Google puts businesses at the top of mind and within easy reach.
3. “Capture people’s attention, then reward their interest.” – Gino Pineda, Client Partner – Philippines, Facebook
What do we do after we’ve successfully captured our target audience’s attention with our meticulously curated content? Pineda advises that we reward them for fixating their highly-valuable attention span on the brand, no matter how short it may be. These may come in the form of entertaining videos, a discount, or even a freebie. Positive reinforcement gives consumers the chance to discover brands without explicit prodding and the usual sales tactics.
4.“Vuja dé it.” – Phil Smithson, Managing Director and Lead Designer, On-Off Group
We’ve all experienced that strange feeling of déja vu, but Smithson focuses on vuja dé or creating something that people have not seen or experienced before. Coming from a UX-centered company, he believes that brands now need to develop fresh perspectives for a consumer to create memories and develop a positive experience with a product. The only way to determine if you’ve created the desired outcome? Consistently test your product with actual consumers and always keep an open ear for what they have to say.
5.“The ultimate goal of storytelling is to spark action.” – Carla Yap Sy Su, Chief Revenue Officer, Rappler Philippines
Brand owners and marketers shouldn’t just stop with a great story to please their consumers. Partnering great storytelling with the sense of urgency to act will inspire people to move to the direction that you want to take them. Yap Sy Su details that when you understand your “whys”, then will you be able to spark the right kind of action that you want your readers or consumers to do.
Cebu to Host DigiCon 2020?
At the end of the two-day event, organizers promised to be back in Cebu – soon. Digital geeks were evidently ecstatic of the possibility of another DigiCon within the horizon. We tried to hold back squeals of joy when we heard the news, although not as successfully as we would like to.